JOHN ROBBINS/Bullet News
NIAGARA FALLS – Ontario’s new premier is looking to a former Falls resident to head up a high profile cabinet post.
Yasir Naqvi has been named Labour minister Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Naqvi was born in 1973 in Pakistan but moved to Niagara Falls in 1988 with his family. His parents owned the Arkona Motel, on Lundy’s Lane, for a time.
Naqvi graduated from Westlane high school, before going on to pursue post-secondary education at McMaster University and the University of Ottawa Law School.
He was called to the bar in 2001 and elected MPP for Ottawa Centre in 2007. He was re-elected in 2011.
Naqvi has been a rising star within Liberal ranks during the past several years. He is currently president of the Liberal Party of Ontario, which is rebuilding after the decision of Premier Dalton McGuinty to step down.
“His is a very interesting story,” Niagara Falls MPP Kim Craitor said congratulating Naqvi following Monday’s cabinet swearing in ceremony.
“When you hear him talk, he’s so passionate about Canada and the opportunities here. It’s quite amazing what he has accomplished at such a young age. Yasir will do well (as a minister.)”
St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley kept his post as Environment Minister in the new government. Bradley is one of only three ministers from McGuinty’s original cabinet in 2003 to remain in cabinet.
“It’s good for Jim and it’s good for the province,” Craitor said of Bradley’s re-appointment. “I would have been disappointed if Kathleen had not re-appointed Jim.”
Also of local note, Michael Chan will remain in his job as tourism minister.
“He’s an excellent, excellent minister of tourism,” said Craitor. “I’m happy for Michael.”
Craitor had most recently served as Chan’s parliamentary assistant at Tourism, but Monday he received a new assignment. Craitor is now the parliamentary assistant to Madeleine Meilleur, minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
Craitor said he’s looking forward to his new job. In particular, he’s interested in helping to promote legislation that would see mandatory installation of fire sprinklers in retirement residences.
The Legislature, which had been adjourned since October, will reopen on Feb. 19.
Full cabinet appointment list:
Premier and President of the Council
Minister of Agriculture
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Minister of the Environment
Minister of Northern Development and Mines
Minister of Community and Social Services
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues
Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Chair of Cabinet
Minister of Rural Affairs
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs
Minister of Natural Resources
Minister of Education
Minister of Government Services
Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
Minister of Research and Innovation
Minister of Labour
Minister of Finance
Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment
Minister of Infrastructure
Minister of Transportation
Minister of Energy
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Minister of Consumer Services
Minister of Children and Youth Services
Minister Responsible for Seniors
Government House Leader
Peter Wallace – Secretary of the Cabinet and Clerk of the Executive Council